Dixie Carter and Jerry Grayson will star in the bio of 1960s author Jacqueline Susann. The scribe — also the subject of the Bette Midler-Nathan Lane movie, "Isn't She Great" — was known as much for her boisterous personality as for her trashy novel, "Valley of the Dolls." Carter tackles Susann, and Grayson plays her husband-manager Irving Mansfield. Leonard Foglia will direct the comedy by Mark Hampton and Barbara J. Zitwer. Joanne Genelle, Adrian Rieder and Barney (who plays Josephine the poodle) also star.
Carter, remembered for her turn on the television series "Designing Women," has played in Broadway's Master Class and Pal Joey.
Grayson appeared on Broadway in the original stagings of Search and Destroy and On The Waterfront. The actor who has been featured in such films as "The Opportunists," "Pushing Tin" and "Quiz Show," also has television credits which include A&E's "The Great Gatsby" and "The Sopranos."
The new stars replace a long list of names previously attached to the once-Broadway bound project, including Andrea Martin, Marlo Thomas, Fran Drescher and F. Murray Abraham. Martin and Abraham who were announced for the Long Wharf run dropped the project due to scheduling conflicts. Robert Wuhl, also previously announced, was the latest drop-out.
Abraham starred opposite Thomas in the play's world premiere at Pittsburgh Public Theater in late 2001. In February-March 2002, the slightly revised play had a run in North Carolina. The play was to be fast-tracked to Broadway's Cort Theatre for spring 2002, but producer Wreghitt and his partners decided to bide their time.
Tickets to Paper Doll at the Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, CT, can be purchased by calling (203) 787-4282. For more information, visit www.longwharf.org.